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Books to enjoy


                               the Story of An Extraordinary, Ordinary Man

Available through my publisher - Giro di Mondo

in hardcover and paper additions.Also available at:;; B&N; and Indie bookstores everywhere.


My book is my song.  It lacks the tonality, trumpets and big organs of some of the most stirring pieces composed by the great masters.  Instead, my song is comprised of simple words.  The music to this composition is played out from humble peasants with noble hearts.

     This is the story of a fatherless boy, who emigrates to America in 1909 on a solo journey to seek his father's grave and faces extraordinary challenges over a lifetime of sharing his spirit of love and triumph. It’s a story of love in the most pure and simple form, that of an extraordinary, ordinary man for his children. It's a song of how a life of hope and faith can surmount all obstacles and challenges and even leave a legacy for those who follow. 

     I hope you will be moved by it.

 Here's what people are saying about Thank You for the Shoes


"This epic narrative of Italian immigrants in America is entertaining and insightful.

Raffaela Marie Rizzo’s Thank You for the Shoes is a realistic portrait of a young man’s quest to make something of himself as an immigrant in the Industrial Revolution–era United States...Overall, Thank You for the Shoes is straightforward and written with integrity. ...entertaining and insightful throughout."--Foreword/Clarion Review


"An affecting tale of an Italian immigrant’s struggle to make a life for himself in the United States...This is a touching, refreshing reminder of how much prosperity can spring from a generous spirit.
A heartwarming amalgam of personal fact, fiction, and history."--Kirkus Review

Amazon Reviews

 Five stars - January 12, 2018

"Thank you for the shoes was and is the meaning of happiness. Gratitude. The center of this book is a man - a real man. He is strong, kind, determined, loving and most of all, grateful! I will recommend this book over and over. A true story of life and goodness and love." --Must be in heels!

5.0 out of 5 stars-- American immigrant's heroic journey!   October 4, 2015

     This compelling book, Thank You for the Shoes, spoke right to my heart. It is one American immigrant’s story, against all the odds, to seek a better life.
     The same rich offer of America’s better life is what brought my own Italian Grandparents to the shores of Ellis Island in the early 1900’s.
     Thank You for the Shoes, is for anyone who has a desire to go deeper into the emotional roots of what might of inspired, not only your ancestors but also those immigrants of today still seeking the same hope and freedom. I invite you to read this remarkable story of an ordinary man who represents the fortitude and character that is woven into the fabric of America


Five stars!!!! Must read!!!!!!!, October 1, 2015

     "Thank you for the Shoes" takes you on the captivating journey of a simple yet complex man, detailing all of the hardships he faced along the way. A constant reminder of how hard our ancestors worked to make a better life for themselves. Must read for anyone whose ancestors emigrated to America during the late 1800s to early 1900s!!


5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, October 4, 2015

"Thank You for the Shoes" captured my interest from the very first paragraph of the forward. Rizzo writes so succinctly, yet so eloquently that one cannot help but wonder what happens next to the young protagonist, Michele. He is only thirteen in 1909 when he sets out alone and practically penniless from his familiar surroundings in Italy to find the grave of his father in America. I know.... who among us, in this pampered day and age, would have the courage to attempt such a trek! Determination and love of family propel the narrative which reads like a novel but is based on the author's very real experience.  Bravo, Raffaela Marie Rizzo, for this extraordinary first book! I can't wait to read more from you.

5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for the Shoes

ByAmazon Customeron October 15, 2015

Totally inspiring story of a simple man who put his family first and foremost






The Godfrey Street Girls

Coming November 2024


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